Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II Review
Design and Handling
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II, as the name implies, is not an complete overhaul of the RX100. The two cameras share the same basic shell with the RX100 II adding a hotshoe and tilting LCD. Build quality is still good - the RX100 was made of sturdy stuff and the addition of a "II" on the top panel hasn't changed that. We had hoped for an update to the control wheel surrounding the lens - the RX100's dial left us feeling a little unengaged while shooting, sadly the RX100 II retains that 'clickless' wheel. Overall, very little has changed on the surface, and that's a (mostly) good thing.
The control ring circling the RX100 II's lens isn't new, but it is a central part of the camera's operation. Here are the functions controlled by the ring:
- Standard (the Sony-chosen setting, based on exposure mode)
- Exposure Compensation
- White Balance
- Creative Style
- Picture Effect
- Shutter Speed
- Not Set (no function assigned)
As mentioned above, the ring is designed to rotate smoothly without any click detents. To be nit-picky about the dial's interface, there's an ever-so-slight delay between rotating the wheel and when the dial function's quick screen is displayed on the LCD (part of the reason it's easy to feel disconnected from the process).
One excellent application of the step-less control ring is in movie mode. Coupled with the RX100 II's focus peaking, the control ring's freely rotating operation comes in handy when using manual focus.
Turning the dial from f/1.8 to f/11 also requires several good twists of the ring, something that's done more easily and quickly by using the rear command dial. Overall the control ring is a nice hardware feature, but in practice is a little bit of a letdown.
The RX100 II gives away its complexity in the hand. It may look like any other compact, but it's appropriately hefty thanks to the large sensor and lens. Despite a slightly matte finish the body is somewhat slippery, though a rubberized back thumb grip helps keep it steady. Overall it's comfortable and feels secure enough to use one-handed, but attaching the enclosed wrist strap is a good idea. Sony now sells an accessory grip for the RX- series, applied to the front of the camera with an included double-sided adhesive. We had a similar third-party accessory for our RX100 review unit and it made a considerable difference in how the camera felt in the hand.
|With the camera held in your right hand, the RX100 II's key controls are easy to locate. The lens is zoomed using a conventional rocker switch 'collar' around the shutter release or via the control ring encircling the lens.|
The RX100 II has added a little thickness and height to the RX100's profile, thanks to a hotshoe and tilting LCD. There's not a whole lot to say about the latter, which is one of a few key differences between this camera and its predecessor. The screen's ability to tilt makes it easier to grab a shot above the head or at waist level and below. There are slight protrusions on the bottom edge of the LCD housing for extra grip when putting its tilting function to use, but even so it's a little awkward to handle. Still, it's useful for composition and video recording.
|Roughly the same size as a typical compact, the RX100 II's back panel controls are all easily within reach when shooting one-handed.|
The RX100's interface has been carried over to this model. Menus are still lengthy, but they provide plenty of opportunities for customization. Users can add certain image setting controls to the quick menu that's accessed via the function button on the back panel, providing essential shortcuts to things like white balance and focus mode.
|Up to seven settings can be added to the quick menu accessed via the Function button.|
|Once assigned, they'll appear in the on-screen quick menu. Each setting is adjusted by using command dial on the back panel.|
The interface for accessing the RX100 II's wireless features is a little unintuitive since the options to 'send to smartphone' and 'send to computer' are located in the main menu's playback tab, and the option to use a smartphone as a wireless remote is another tab. It's not hard to work out where these options are located within the menus, and it's hardly worth creating a new menu tab for three items.
Jul 20, 2016
Apr 4, 2016
Aug 26, 2015
Sep 14, 2016
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.